With spring in full swing, Nardin students across the Academy are showing their commitment to service this season of giving. A pillar of the Nardin Experience, service reflects the tradition of our founders, the Daughters of the Heart of Mary, and is lived out by our students through retreats, service projects, initiatives, and much more.
“In the Montessori, Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools, Nardin lives its commitment to service, and this is seen every day in the halls of the Academy,” said Upper School Campus Minister Tom Whalen. “My hope is that each service experience a student has is something they can learn and grow from and carry out into their lives,” he added.
A few weeks ago, juniors in our Upper School gathered at Camp Duffield in Delevan, N.Y., for the Spring Kairos retreat, which was the third and final Kairos retreat offered this year. The introduction of the Kairos retreat was part of Whalen’s expanded retreat program at Nardin, in which all Upper School students participate in a retreat each year designed to build upon the one the year before.
In addition to retreats, students across the Academy participate in service projects and initiatives throughout the year. The main service initiative for our Montessori School is its angel gift drive to support Gateway Longview, a local organization serving needy youths and families across Western New York. The Montessori has participated in the drive for almost 20 years now and each year fills all of Nardin’s vans with toys and holiday cheer.
This Spring, the Lower and Middle School joined together to host a food drive to support FeedMore WNY. The grades competed to see who could bring in the most donations. After claiming victory, the first graders enjoyed a pajama day for donating the most food. Also, a few weeks ago the eighth grade sponsored its annual basket raffle. Ten lucky winners took home theme baskets filled with toys, candy and more in the raffle to support Friends of the Night People.
Down the hall in the Upper School, students lead service initiatives all through the year too. From food drives to collections for sweatpants days, many are student sponsored and run. Annually, every week during Lent, students oversee a different donation campaign, from food drives to clothing collections and recently the Upper School sponsored an initiative to collect women’s hygiene projects and held a food drive for First Fruits Food Pantry.
At Nardin Academy, living our mission is woven into the fabric of our school life and by giving back, all students live our commitment to service.